In our Tuesday Bible Study we’ve been working our way through Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. I chose the letter because I knew it was written to Paul’s “favorite” congregation; and I knew it would have something to say to u about healthy relationships.
In fact, Paul has a great deal to say in Chapters 2 and 3 especially about our relationship with Christ. I chose Philippians 2:5-11 as the second lesson to be read the day of my ordination because of the depth of its message about our Lord’s love for us, and the very self-sacrificing nature of that love.
It’s in Chapters 1 and 4 that Paul speaks about our relationships with other people. More than any other passage, I have chosen to read Philippians 1:3-11 for an opening devotion for council or congregational meetings.
It was in studying Chapter 4 that Paul raised some questions that keep me awake some nights. It seems to me in that last chapter most of all Paul is speaking to those he loves in Philippi as a parent might speak to or about a child. One of his concerns is “if it takes a village to raise a child, who is in the village that is raising our children?”
Michele and I are extremely grateful that members of Cross Lutheran Church were a part of the village that helped raise our child. And we know that members continue that “love and support of a village” that is helping raise other children.
What I wonder is who else’s children would benefit from the love and support of this village, or similar villages; and if this isn’t part of what is lost because of the decisions some families make about their commitments (or lack thereof) and time.
While it is true that this village has helped raise no perfect children, it has helped raise quite a few fairly healthy ones. And we could help more, given the chance.
(Next time I’ll write about the other question I believe Paul raises.)